American Poet, Founder and Co-Director of Project V.O.I.C.E.
American Poet, Founder and Co-Director of Project V.O.I.C.E.
Her dress is the color of marmalade, she chirps songs that have no words.
It is equally important to listen as it is to speak.
There is a girl who still writes you; she doesn?t know how not to.
You can only fit so many words in a postcard, only so many in a phone call, only so many into space before you forget that words are sometimes used for things other than filling emptiness.
How strange, that when you are away, I reach for my cell phone's buzz as if it were your hand. Each shiver in my pocket, a way to find you.
Life will hit you hard in the face, wait for you to get back up just so it can kick you in the stomach. But getting the wind knocked out of you is the only way to remind your lungs how much they like the taste of air.
There was no secret I did not tell him, there was no moment we did not share. We didn't grow up, we grew in; like ivy wrapping, molding each other into perfect yins and yangs
I have always been more comfortable with daredevil acts than with the everyday nuances of life. Let me jump out of a plane, speak in front of a roomful of strangers, even trek across Siberia.
Most days it feels as if the world is whirling around me and I am standing still. In slow motion, I watch the colors blur; people and faces all become a massive wash.
There?ll be days like this, my momma said. When you open your hands to catch and wind up with only blisters and bruises; when you step out of the phone booth and try to fly and the very people you want to save are the ones standing on your cape; when your boots will fill with rain, and you?ll be up to your knees in disappointment.
I have always fallen in love with far too many postage stamps. When you appeared on my doorstep wearing nothing but a postcard province?no, appeared is the wrong word. Is there a word for sucker-punching someone in the heart? Is there a word for when you?re sitting at the bottom of a roller coaster and you realize that the climb?s coming, that you know what the climb means, that you can already feel the flip in your stomach from the fall before you even moved. Is there a word for that? There should be. You can only fit so many words in a postcard?only so many in a phone call?only so many into space before you forget that words are sometimes used for things other than filling emptiness. It?s hard to build a body out of words. I have tried. We have both tried. Instead of holding your head to my chest, I tell you about the boy who lives downstairs from me; who stays up all night long practicing his drum set. The neighbors have complained. They have busy days tomorrow but he keeps on thumping through the night convinced that practice makes perfect. Instead of holding my hand, you tell me about a sandwich you made for lunch today; how the pickles fit so perfectly with the lettuce. Practice does not make perfect. Practice makes permanent. Repeat the same mistakes over and over and you don?t get any closer to Carnegie Hall, even I know that. Repeat the same mistakes over and over and you don?t get any closer. You never get any closer. Is there a word for the moment you win tug-of-war? When the weight gives in and all that extra rope comes hurdling towards you; how even though you?ve won, you still wind up with muddy knees and burns on your hands. Is there a word for that? I wish there was. I would have said it when we were finally together on your couch, neither one of us with anything left to say. Still now, I send letters into space hoping that some mailman somewhere will track you down and recognize you from the description in my poems. That he will place the stack of them in your hands and tell you, there is a girl that still writes to you? she doesn?t know how not to.
My first spoken word poem, packed with all the wisdom of a 14-year-old, was about the injustice of being seen as unfeminine. The poem was very indignant, and mainly exaggerated, but the only spoken word poetry that I had seen up until that point was mainly indignant, so I thought that that's what was expected of me.
There's nothing more beautiful than the way the ocean refuses to stop kissing the shoreline, no matter how many times it's sent away.
I have always liked coming home and sharing what has happened that day with my loved ones. I like comparing notes. I know other people do, too. I think there is a human instinct to tell stories, no matter who you are or where you live.
My self-confidence can be measured out in teaspoons mixed into my poetry, and it still always tastes funny in my mouth.
They'll be days like this my momma said. When you open your hands to catch, and wind up with only blisters and bruises. When you try to step out of the phone booth and try to fly , and the very people you want to save, are the ones standing on your cape. When your boots will fill with rain, and you'll be up to your knees with disappointment and those are the very days you have all the more reason to say Thank you.
I have seen the best of you, and the worst of you, and I choose both.
My world was the size of a crayon box, and it took every color to draw her
This is how I disappear in pieces. This is how I leave while not moving from my seat. This is how I dance away. This is how I'm gone before you wake.
I promise to tidy up before company arrives, wouldn't want my socks and daydreams all over the carpet.
Not all poetry wants to be storytelling. And not all storytelling wants to be poetry. But great storytellers and great poets share something in common: They had something to say, and did.
This life will hit you--hard. In the face! It'll wait for you to get back up, just so it can kick you in the stomach. But getting the wind knocked out of you, is the only way to remind your lungs how much they like the taste of air.
I think there is a human instinct to tell stories, no matter who you are or where you live.
Perusing colorful storylines on the backs of book jackets, I realized that none of them could possibly be as dramatic as my life to date. Then sadly, I also realized I could never find the ending of my story from the safety of an armchair.
To me, having the courage to tell your own story goes hand in hand with having the curiosity and humility to listen to others' stories.